Nebraska 78th in world for U.S. patents


During 2022 Innovation Awards ceremony on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022, at the Hilton Omaha, UNeMed President & CEO Miachel Dixon, PhD, (left) presents UNMC researchers Howard Gendelman, MD, (center) and Benson Edagwa, PhD, with the Startup of of the Year award in recognition of the recent success of Exavir Therapeutiics, a company they co-founded based on the antiretriviral therapeutics they’ve developed at UNMC.

OMAHA, Nebraska (August 7, 2023)—For the sixth straight year, the University of Nebraska cracked the list of top 100 universities in the world for securing United States patents, landing 78th in 2022.

Annually produced by the National Academy of Inventors, the ranking reflects the total number of U.S. patents granted to academic institutions worldwide during the previous calendar year. Nebraska’s 45 patents includes inventions from UNMC, UNO and the Lincoln campus.

UNMC’s and UNO’s technology transfer and commercialization office, UNeMed, secured 25 of those patents for University inventors.

“This is another indicator of the creative and innovative culture at UNMC,” Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, MD, said. “The work of our researchers and scientists—coupled with our licensing team and industry partners–continues to improve the lives of those in our communities and throughout the world. We look forward to further accelerating our momentum on these fronts, in the years to come.”

Among domestic institutions, Nebraska’s 45 U.S. patents in 2022 ranked 50th of 57, ahead of Penn State (43 patents), Tennessee (41), Iowa State (39) and Emory (39). The University of California system led the world with 570 U.S. patents, well ahead of the No. 2 MIT’s 343 patents.

Of the patents secured by UNeMed, a remarkable 64 percent had been licensed for further development. That includes five for Virtual Incision, a surgical robotics company built on a UNMC and UNL collaboration. UNeMed manages the patent portfolio for Virtual Incision, a Lincoln-based startup.

“We’re always intensely proud of the intellectual property that our faculty, researchers, staff and students create year-in and year-out,” UNeMed CEO and President Michael Dixon, PhD, said.  “But the more essential measure for us is the portion of licenses we can secure with those patents. To be north of 60 percent is fantastic and speaks volumes about the high level of quality innovations coming out of Nebraska. And it gives us incredibly solid footing for us as we help those innovators secure the critical funding they need to further those ideas into products that can actually help improve people’s lives.”

Three more patents relate to the work of Howard Gendelman, MD, and Benson Edagwa, PhD, and were licensed to their startup company, Exavir. The core technology behind those patents is a groundbreaking approach to HIV treatment that promises to reduce therapeutic regimens to a single dose administered just once or twice per year. Current HIV treatments often require a strict program of multiple daily doses.

Last year, Exavir secured $4 million in a successful seed round, and earned the Startup of the Year award at UNeMed’s 2022 Innovation Awards.

Another UNeMed patent forms the cornerstone of, RespirAI, a biomedical startup built with a technology borne from a UNO/UNMC collaboration. The technology is a wearable device that could positively impact the 15 million Americans suffering from a potentially lethal condition called COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

The technology can successfully predict life threatening sudden flare-ups, or exacerbations, providing the patient enough time to seek treatment before it’s too late.

Additional UNeMed patents include a safety device for physicians that use real time x-ray technology for some procedures; a new plating system for repairing broken wrists; and two patents related to highly absorptive nanofibers that could be used in developing the next generation of wound dressings.

The complete list of rankings can be found here:



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